A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This article will cover how best to improve ketosis and supplement a healthy lifestyle.
This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to
Ketogenic diets have been quite popular over the last 10 years due to the beneficial effects being in stable ketosis has on brain function, aging and chronic disease development. People all around the world have tried going on a specific ketogenic diet and lifestyle with varying results.
Here are some helpful herbs, foods and supplements that are often overlooked by individuals who are trying to achieve and improve ketosis.
1. Use Fresh Lemon/Lime:
Lemon and lime contain citric acid which helps to reduce blood sugar levels naturally. Additionally, the anti-oxidants and trace minerals such as potassium help to improve insulin signaling boost liver function and stabilize blood sugar.
How To Use: Put lemon or lime in your water and use it in your green juices, salads and squeezed over meat and cooked veggies to help improve your blood sugar and improve ketosis.
2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is naturally high in acetic acid. The use of acetic acid with meals has been shown to reduce the glycemic response of a typical carbohydrate meal by 31%.
One study actually showed that using acetic acid reduced a
How to Use: Use ACV on as many foods as possible and/or add it to water with 1-2 tbsps per 8oz of water. You can also get a calorie free Bragg’s ginger aid that contains ginger, ACV and stevia for a great refreshing drink that improves digestion and may improve ketosis.
3. Use Fermented Foods:
Fermented foods such as coconut milk yogurt, coconut milk kefir, coconut water kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi are extremely beneficial to the digestive system and improve bowel motility.
Additionally, these foods have natural acids that stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, the probiotics, enzymes and other bioactive nutrients help to improve digestion and improve ketosis. Use a variety of different fermented foods each day. Focus on ones that you enjoy the taste of and feel good when consuming.
How To Use: For best benefit, use these in the beginning of a meal to provide enzyme support and probiotics that will help the body to metabolize the rest of the food you will be consuming.
4. Use Cinnamon Daily:
Cinnamon helps to improve insulin receptor activity and inhibit enzymes that block insulin receptors. It is also a very powerful anti-oxidant that prevents inflammatory conditions that damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.
How To Use: Put a ½ tsp of cinnamon in your shakes and apply it to any sort of ketogenic dessert recipe or anything with berries. Additionally, if you are cycling out of ketosis with higher carb foods, be sure to use it on things like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and yams to reduce the blood sugar impact from these foods.
5. Use Turmeric:
The orange Asian herb turmeric has been traditionally used for centuries by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Curcumin is the most powerful active anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to be a powerful suppressor of chronic inflammatory mediated disease processes.
Curcumin modulates blood sugar and improves insulin receptor function by improving its binding capacity to sugar. Curcumin activates PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor) which is a group of key nuclear proteins that regulate gene expression and modulate sugar uptake and utilization in the bloodstream.
Curcumin also reduces the activity of specific liver enzymes that release sugar into the bloodstream while activating enzymes that store sugar as glycogen. Research on type 2 diabetes patients resulted in blood glucose stabilization and lowered triglyceride levels in the group that consumed curcumin. This can improve ketosis as you will better at stabilizing blood sugar levels.
How To Use: Turmeric is absorbed best when it is combined with a good fat source and with black pepper as the peperine molecule helps to activate the curcumin.
Add turmeric to your smoothies, green drinks (juice the root), meat and vegetable dishes. Be sure to add in the turmeric after the meal is finished cooking in order to maximize the
6. Chromium and Vanadium:
Chromium and vanadium help improve blood sugar regulation. Chromium acts to increase the production and the release of glucose transport molecule called GLUT-4 enzymes in the liver and muscle tissue. It does this by shifting GLUT-4’s location from deep within the cell to a position on the cell membrane.
This activity opens a window in the cell that allows glucose to flow down a concentration gradient into the cell where it can be metabolized for energy. This acts to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin secretions
Vanadium is a unique trace mineral that works to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin and improving the cells’ sensitivity to insulin.
How To Use: Take 250-500 mg of chromium and 375 – 700 mcg of vanadium with a higher carbohydrate meal can improve post prandial blood sugar significantly.
If you can get these nutrients in
7. Fenugreek Seed:
Fenugreek is native to the Himalayan region of India and it is now grown wildly all over the southern and Mediterranean Europe, Middle-East Asia and northern African regions. Fenugreek seeds are tiny, bitter and pungent seeds. They have been used for centuries to improve digestive function as a bowel toner and carminative. They have a beneficial effect on kidney health and act to improve breast milk secretion in nursing mothers.
Fenugreek Seed and its constituent, 4-isoleucine appear to directly stimulate insulin. The combination of fenugreek with vanadium appeared to normalize altered membrane linked functions and GLUT4 distribution. Fenugreek also lowered high serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
How To Use: Take 200-300mg with meals to keep blood sugar stable and improve ketosis
8. Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon):
Bitter gourd is a tender, edible fruit pond that grows on climbing vines and originated in India. As the name implies, it is a bitter tasting melon. It is in the same family as squash, watermelon, cantaloupes and cucumbers.
Bitter Gourd (aka. bitter melon) contains a powerful phytonutrient called Polypeptide-P which has insulin-like effects that have been shown to exhibit hypoglycemic effects. Polypeptide P has an onset of action between 30-60 minutes and a peak effect at about 4 hours. It is approved as an antidiabetic drug in China.
How To Use: Take 100-150mg with meals to improve ketosis
9. Gymnema Sylvestre:
Gymnema is a climbing green shrub native to the tropical forests of southern India and Sri Lanka. The leaves have been used for centuries to make an Ayurvedic medicine called gurmar, which means in Hindi, “destroyer of sugar,” as it helps to reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar naturally.
Gymnema contains many powerful phytonutrients including triterpenoids which have adaptogenic qualities that enhance the body’s ability to respond to stress. Gymnema sylvestre reduced fasting blood sugars, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and glycosylated plasma protein levels and thus insulin requirements in Type 1 diabetics.
It did this by reducing glucose absorption in the intestine, stimulating pancreatic beta cell growth and possibly increasing endogenous insulin secretion as suggested by an increase in C-peptide levels. Gymnema was shown to also reduce serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL.
How To Use: 100-200mg with meals
10. Herbal Adaptogens:
There are a unique array of compounds used in natural medicine that
Adaptogenic herbs include Panex ginseng, ashwaghanda, rhodiola, cordyceps, astragalus, holy basil, Siberian ginseng (Eleuthero root) and maca as well as others. Start with small doses of these and gradually go up.
These herbs are best used in the morning and mid-afternoon for most individuals. Many people notice an increase in energy and mental clarity from them and if you take them at night they could possibly keep you up. 3 notable exceptions are reishi mushroom, lemon balm and ashwaghanda which tend to be more relaxing and help people sleep better.
Some individuals find they respond better to certain adaptogens better than others so be sure to monitor how you feel and your level of stable ketosis. If you notice that they induce cravings or make you feel fatigued, you are probably having a stress response to the herb itself.
This isn’t a complete list at all but it is a start. Here is how I recommend using them.
Ashwaghanda: Begin with 200-400mg – 1x per day and if you feel good using it you can gradually go up to 400-800 mg – 2x per day
Astragalus: Begin with 500mg – 1x per day and if you feel good using it you can gradually go up to 500 mg – 1000mg – 2x per day
Cordyceps: Begin with 400mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 400-800 mg – 2x per day
Panex Ginseng: Begin with 200mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 400mg – 2x per day
Holy Basil: Begin with 300mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 300-600mg, 1-2x per day
Maca: Begin with 1.5g -1x daily and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 1.5-3.0 grams – 2x daily.
Rhodiola: Begin with 100mg -1x per day and if you feel good than go up to 100-200 mg – 2x per day
Siberian Ginseng: Begin with 100mg -1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 200 mg – 2x per day
11. Acetyl L-Carnitine:
Carnitine was originally identified in animal meat and got its name from the latin word for flesh, “carnus.” This nutrient is critical for fat metabolism and energy production in the cellular mitochondria.
Carnitine helps muscle cells drive energy efficiently from fat metabolism. Up to 70% of the energy produced by muscle cells (including the heart) comes from burning fats. Carnitine is the gate-keeper that allows fatty acids to pass into the mitochondrial furnace effectively.
Low levels of carnitine cause a reduced ability to use fat for energy. This will drive up blood sugar because the cells will be starving. To remain in ketosis, you need to optimize your L-carnitine levels. The best way is to consume healthy animal products and consider high quality Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplementation.
Optimal Dosages: 500-1000 mg – 2x daily
12. Alpha Lipoic Acid:
This is a unique and powerful anti-oxidant that has both water and fat soluble properties. This unique characteristic allows it to be absorbed and transported into many organs and systems such as the brain, liver and nerves.
Lipoic acid is able to regenerate vitamins C and E and other major anti-oxidants such as glutathione and CoQ10. Lipoic acid protects the mitochondria, the
There is overwhelming evidence that ALA is critical for maintaining insulin sensitivity, optimal blood sugar levels
Optimal Dosages: 100-200 mg with each meal
I am just scraping the surface here with how many herbs and supplements can help to improve blood sugar regulation, mitochondrial function and fat burning mechanism. The most important thing is to find what works best for you.
You can use blood sugar testing, ketone blood testing or a ketonix breath meter in order to quantify your blood sugar stabilization and ketone levels. I go over the best ways to test your ketones here. Additionally, see how you feel when you use the dosages recommended in this article. Experiment with some or all of these nutrients if you wish and see what works best for you in your pursuit to improve ketosis.
You don’t need to take all of these, but check them out and consider 1 or 2 that you think will help you on this journey to improve ketosis!!
Source: Article by Dr. David Jockers (https://drjockers.com/12-herbs-supplements-improve-ketosis/)
The keto diet is known for being a very low carb, high-fat diet.
This approach helps you boost your ketone levels and enter nutritional ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which you burn mainly fat (ketones) for energy instead of glucose.
This is the defining difference between the ketogenic diet and Atkins or other low carb diets, which simply reduce some carbs and don’t try to put you in ketosis.
But there’s one more nutrient to consider and many misunderstand its role on the keto diet.
I’m talking about protein.
On keto, you will consume adequate amounts of protein — never less than you need. This macro is one of the hardest to nail down when starting keto due to all the conflicting misinformation about it.
Protein is a building block of life and a necessary component of any diet. It’s crucial for:
- Healthy brain function
- Skin, bone, and muscle health
- Building muscle mass
- Recovering after workouts
- Cutting body fat
These benefits promote longevity, prevent injuries and boost your metabolism.
Unfortunately, a lot of ketogenic dieters are worried that eating too much protein might kick them out of ketosis.
Many low carb, high fat advocates believe excess protein can turn into sugar in your bloodstream through a process called gluconeogenesis and knock down your ketone levels. But as you’ll find out, this is only a myth.
In this article, we’ll talk about:
- Can too much protein be bad for ketosis?
- 3 reasons why you should eat more protein on keto
- The best keto protein sources
- How much protein should you consume on keto?
- The best metric to measure on keto
Can Too Much Protein Be Bad for Ketosis?
Eating too much protein is one of the biggest concerns for people who are just starting the ketogenic diet.
After all, ketones are produced from fat, so you should keep carbs and protein down to a minimum, right? Not necessarily!
Carbs are the only macronutrient that can seriously interfere with ketosis, which is why it’s important to watch out for hidden carbs and find the carb limit that works for you.
On the other hand, eating protein won’t affect your ketone levels. You can eat high fat and high protein (preferably fatty cuts of grass fed meat) and stay in ketosis.
That’s why many people who transition from keto to the carnivore diet have no problem staying in nutritional ketosis.
But what about gluconeogenesis (GNG)?
GNG is a real and necessary process that is already happening in your body. It’s not the enemy of ketosis, in fact, it makes ketosis possible in the first place.
Surprised? Here’s how it really works:
THE HIGH-PROTEIN MYTH: DO NOT FEAR GLUCONEOGENESIS
There is a widely-circulated claim that excess protein is detrimental to ketosis because it causes gluconeogenesis.
This myth has since been disproven. However, there are plenty of articles published online stating this false claim, so Perfect Keto would like to explain how GNG really works on ketosis.
Gluconeogenesis (GNG) is a metabolic pathway that allows your liver and kidneys to make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
The word gluconeogenesis has three parts to it:
- Gluco — coming from the greek root glukos – literally meaning “sweet wine.”
- Neo — “new”
- Genesis — “creation”
So a great way to think about it is this is how your body creates new sweet wine for your body. This process is special because it’s the creation of glucose from anything but carbs.
Your body takes compounds like lactate, amino acids (protein), and glycerol to manufacture glucose when there are no carbs around.
This may seem like a problem when you’re trying to run on ketones instead of glucose, but the truth is gluconeogenesis has an incredibly important purpose — and no, it doesn’t harm ketosis.
Some people tout that “you don’t need carbohydrates to survive,” which is only partially true.
To clarify, you don’t need to eat any high carb foods to survive, but make no mistake — your body needs glucose and glycogen to keep you healthy (even on ketosis) and it will get this via survival mechanisms like gluconeogenesis.
3 REASONS GLUCONEOGENESIS IS VITAL
On a keto diet, your body uses gluconeogenesis for 3 main purposes:
- Preventing hypoglycemia.Your glucose levels can never drop to zero, even on ketosis. GNG keeps your blood sugar on a healthy range so it doesn’t fall to dangerous levels (aka hypoglycemia).
- Fueling tissues that can’t use ketones. There are a handful of cells in your body that can only use glucose to survive, including red blood cells, kidney medulla (inner part of the kidney), testicles and some parts of your brain. Ketones can cover up to 70% of your brain’s energy needs while glucose from GNG covers the rest. The other organs can’t metabolize ketones at all, so gluconeogenesis provides them with enough glucose to remain healthy.
- Resupplying glycogen stores. You can actually replenish muscle glycogen through the GNG that happens during ketosis — at least if you’re not a professional athlete or participate in competitions. Glycogen is crucial for muscle recovery after workouts.
These functions are incredibly important. If GNG didn’t make enough glucose to cover them, your body could never make the switch to using ketones for energy because some cells (like red blood cells) would die and your blood sugar would drop too low.
This means gluconeogenesis makes ketosis possible.
CAN EXCESS PROTEIN INCREASE THE GLUCOSE COMING FROM GNG?
Now, could you boost the rate GNG if you eat too much protein? Not likely.
GNG is an extremely stable process. It’s not easy to increase it even with extra protein.
Gluconeogenesis (making glucose from non-carbs) doesn’t work at the same rate as carbohydrate metabolism (making glucose from carbs).
When you eat chocolate cake, your blood glucose quickly spikes in response to that sugar.
When you eat extra protein, your blood glucose doesn’t spike the same way. Studies have shown that GNG production doesn’t increase even with extra amino acids.
By now we have made a few things clear:
- Gluconeogenesis is the process of making internal glucose from non-carb sources, including protein
- Gluconeogenesis is necessary for survival
- Gluconeogenesis makes ketosis possible
- Eating too much protein won’t increase the rate of gluconeogenesis
But eating protein isn’t just safe, it’s necessary.
3 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Protein On Keto
Here’s why eating adequate amounts of protein is beneficial on the ketogenic diet:
#1: PROTEIN HELPS WITH FAT LOSS
Most people on keto will limit their protein to 30-40 grams, limit their carbs to 10-20 grams, then eat an excessive amount of fat. This is a common mistake.
If your goal is to lose fat, increased protein consumption is a great way to approach your ketogenic diet plan. Here’s why:
- Protein is more satiating than fat
- Protein is more nutrient dense
- People tend to overeat when protein is low
Additionally, the most effective way to start losing weight on keto is to burn your stored body fat for energy, not the new dietary fat you’re eating.
If you eat too much fat, your body will burn that new fat coming in and won’t get the chance to burn your stored fat reserves.
You can overcome weight loss plateaus by increasing protein and lowering your fat consumption.
#2: PROTEIN PROVIDES FEWER CALORIES THAN FAT
Your body needs to use more energy (calories) to burn protein than to burn to fat.
For example, when you eat a 100-calorie serving of grass fed beef, your body can only store 75% of it as calories because it requires 25% of calories to burn it and use it as fuel. Conversely, when you consume fat, you are storing up to 98% of it as calories.
This means you’re storing almost all of the calories from fat, whereas you’ll store less from protein since you use up some of the calories to burn it.
#3: PROTEIN DEFICIENCY IS DANGEROUS
Not eating enough protein on keto has serious side effects, including:
- Worsened workout performance: Without enough protein, you won’t be able to maintain muscle mass, let alone build muscle.
- Neuron atrophy: Your brain needs amino acids to function optimally. Research finds a protein-deficient diet can lead to atrophy and neuron loss.
- Weaker immune system: A deficiency in the amino acid arginine can contribute to the dysfunction of your T cells — the cells that regulate your immunity.
- Increased risk of diseases: A deficiency in amino acids can increase the risk of developing certain diseases, including: sickle cell disease, acute asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
In fact, a lot of these keto side effects happen due to eating too little protein:
- Thyroid problems
- Weight loss plateaus
- Hormonal problems
- Hair loss
Now that you know why protein matters, it’s important to choose the best possible protein sources for your diet.
Choosing the Best Keto Protein Sources
When selecting keto protein sources, choose the highest quality you can reasonably afford.
When grocery shopping, be sure to refer to the Keto Diet Food List and the Ketogenic Diet Grocery List for ideas. If you are an athlete who typically uses protein powder, choose a keto-friendly brand (discussed below).
KETO-FRIENDLY PROTEIN SOURCES
These are the best sources of protein on the keto diet:
- Beef, preferably fattier cuts like steak, veal, roast, ground beef and stews
- Poultry, including chicken breasts, quail, duck, turkey and wild game — try to focus on the darker, fattier meats
- Pork, including pork loin, tenderloin, chops, ham, bacon and ground
- Fish, including mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout, halibut, cod, catfish and mahi-mahi
- Shellfish, including oysters, clams, crab, mussels and lobster
- Organ meats, including heart, liver, tongue, kidney and offal
- Eggs, including deviled, fried, scrambled and boiled — use the whole egg
- Lamb meat
- Goat meat
- Grass fed, full-fat dairy, including grass fed butter, heavy cream, cottage cheese and cream cheese
- Vegetarian sources, like macadamia nuts, almonds and nut butter
THE BEST KETO FRIENDLY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT: COLLAGEN
Collagen is a type of protein — the most abundant protein found in your body.
It’s considered the glue that holds your body together, making up the tissue in cartilage, muscles, joints, skin, hair, eyes, heart, gut, brain, and nails, and it’s credited with a wide range of health benefits, including:
- Better skin health
- Hair loss prevention
- Muscle growth and regeneration
- Maintaining the integrity of tendons, ligaments and cartilage
- Strengthening your bones and preventing osteoporosis
- Repairing tissues (forming scars)
- Maintaining proper vision
- Preventing leaky gut
- Helping your heart beat
- Ensuring optimal brain function
How Much Protein Should You Consume on Keto?
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is heavy in carbs, with some protein and very little fat. On keto, you take a seemingly opposite approach, with the bulk of your calories coming from fat, some calories coming from protein and very few from carbohydrates.
While every person has individual needs, most people follow these macronutrient guidelines to enter (or stay in) ketosis:
- 75-80% of calories should come from fat
- 20% of calories should come from protein
- 5% of calories should come from carbohydrates
This is a common way to break down your macros on the ketogenic diet. And while it may help you to start producing ketones, it may not be the most effective approach for overall body composition and weight loss.
Instead of setting up macronutrient percentages, here’s a better alternative:
STEP #1: PROTEIN ALWAYS COMES FIRST
The first step for successfully tracking your ketogenic diet macros is to calculate your protein intake.
The amount will differ depending on the activity level per individual.
If you’re sedentary, consume 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass at a minimum.
Lean body mass is the amount of weight you carry that isn’t fat. Use a bioelectrical impedance scale, calipers or get a DEXA scan to find your lean body mass. Then take that weight and multiply it by 0.8. This is the amount of protein you should eat every day.
If you’re an athlete or looking to build muscle, consume 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Note: This is the absolute minimum you should be eating. You can eat more if needed and you shouldn’t worry about creating excess glucose. It’s more problematic to get less protein than it is to eat more.
STEP #2: CALCULATE CARBOHYDRATES
Reduce your carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams of total carbohydrates.
Athletes and those looking to build muscle can consume higher amounts whereas people who live a sedentary lifestyle should try to stay under 30 grams of total carbohydrates.
STEP #3: FILL IN THE REST OF YOUR CALORIES FROM FAT
Once you have calculated your protein and carbohydrate intake, subtract that amount from your daily total calories.
Those remaining calories should come from healthy fats.
To find the amount of calories per macronutrient:
- Protein = 4 calories per gram
- Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
- Fats = 9 calories per gram
Here’s an example:
Let’s assume your goal is to eat 150 grams of protein per day and 30 grams of carbohydrates with a 2,100 daily calorie allowance.
- 150g protein x 4 = 600 calories
- 30g carbohydrates x 4 = 120 calories
- 2,100 – (600 + 120) = 1,280 calories
- To find your fat intake = 1,280 / 9 = 142g of fat
The macronutrient breakdown for this example comes out to:
- 150 grams protein
- 142 grams fat
- 30 grams carbohydrates
If you’re not seeing the results you want with the ketogenic diet, using this approach may help you overcome any ketogenic obstacles you’re experiencing.
What to Measure: Results Not Ketones
If your goal is to maintain optimal energy levels and achieve a lean physique, you should not worry about constantly tracking your ketone levels.
Instead, focus on long-term lean tissue growth.
Ketone production is not the only metric to track when gauging your success on the ketogenic diet.
Looking at the mirror, measuring your lean body mass and assessing your energy levels are much better ways to determine the effectiveness of your diet. Why?
Because producing ketones doesn’t always mean you’re burning themfor energy.
When you first start the ketogenic diet, your body may be excreting excess ketones through your breath and urine. Often times, these ketones aren’t being used for energy because your mitochondria haven’t adapted to processing ketones effectively.
The longer you follow the ketogenic diet, the more efficient your body becomes at using ketones as its main fuel source.
This is why many people who are keto-adapted will have slightly lower ketone levels (.6 – .8 mmol). Their body isn’t flushing out excess ketones — it’s using them.
Building lean mass overtime is a better indicator of an effective ketogenic diet protocol because it proves that you’re burning off your body’s fat storages for energy.Bottom Line: Unless you are following the ketogenic diet to help with serious health conditions like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, maintaining high ketone levels should not be a priority for you. Instead, track your overall body composition, lean tissue growth and energy levels.
Stop Undereating Protein
Many people in the ketogenic community have been misguided into keeping protein intake relatively low to prevent glucose production through GNG.
Because of this, keto beginners may never see the lasting results they’ve been promised on the low carb, high fat lifestyle.
The truth is protein is just as important as healthy fats on the ketogenic diet.
If you have hit a weight loss plateau, experienced a dip in energy or noticed hormonal imbalances, increasing your protein intake can drastically help.
Instead of focusing on ketogenic macronutrient percentages, follow the steps above or use the macro calculator to figure out your new macro intake and make your keto diet work even better for you.
Source: Article by Dr. Anthony Gustin (https://perfectketo.com/how-too-much-protein-is-bad-for-ketosis/)
Doing Keto Means You Can Keep Some Sweets
One of the toughest things, for me, doing the ketogenic diet was giving up a lot of the fruits that I love so dearly.
I grew up eating a large range of fruits.
Now? I can’t touch them.
Because the fructose in them is a definite no when on Keto. This means that a lot of fruits are taken out of the mix immediately. But what if you’re a fruit lover?
You’ve grown up being told that fruits are really good for you. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Don’t get me wrong, fruits are good for you on a regular diet, but you’re on a keto diet now so you need to watch exactly what you’re eating.
There are fruits out there that are perfectly acceptable to have on a keto diet. Like most other fruits, there are going to be carbs that’ll form in your body from the sugars in them. However, it will just be significantly less.
Fruits That You Can Eat on Keto
You’ll be surprised that some of these on the list are ones that you didn’t even think about as fruits. If we going by the general definition of a fruit then they all fit within the category.
Fruit: the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed can be eaten as a food.
Avocados are just amazing. That’s the best way to put it. If you’ve ever had guacamole then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Instead of supplying you with sugars, avocados provide you with healthy fats that are going to greatly benefit you when it comes to your keto diet.
These fruits will also provide you with a bunch of vitamins and minerals that only help your health. Vitamins and minerals that you won’t get in a diet that lacks avocados.
If you’re looking for something that can help improve your heart health as well, avocados are the way to go. A healthy heart is like a chain reaction and helps lead to everything else in your body being healthier as well.
For every 100 grams of avocado you have, you will only get about 1.8 grams of net carbs.
When you’re on a keto diet, it can be easy for your body to lose its electrolytes. Your body needs electrolytes because they help all of your muscles function properly.
Without electrolytes, your muscles can easily start to cramp. If you’ve somehow gone this long without any muscle cramps, then consider yourself lucky because they are nothing you want to deal with at all.
The most common use of lemons for a keto diet is in water. Making lemon water is going to help you while you’re in ketosis. Since it’s so easy to make as well, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of it.
Lemon water has numerous benefits which include ones that will help your heart, muscles, and your joints.
Lemons are going to help your body become better at absorbing iron which, in turn, will allow your muscles to become stronger and possibly prevent osteoporosis when you are older. Healthy bones are going to help your joints stay healthier as well. Everything is connected in your body and when you improve one thing, you are only helping something else.
Lemons are going to give you about 6.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
I personally don’t know too many people that go out of their way to get blackberries. They just aren’t an extremely popular fruit. However, when you’re on a ketogenic diet, they should be on your list of top fruits.
Also, if you’ve never had blackberries before then you should consider dropping everything you’re doing right now and go get some. The taste is absolutely amazing. You just have to worry about tiny seeds getting stuck in your teeth, but that is a small price to pay for this delicious fruit.
Blackberries are packed with vitamin C, K, and manganese. These are going to help your motor functions and reduce inflammation. The reduced inflammation is key when it comes to a keto diet. This is when you’ll start to see your problem areas, like your waist or stomach, start to shrink in size.
Eating blackberries can also give you a fiber boost that everyone needs in their diets but never seem to get enough of.
100 grams of blackberries will only give you about 4.3 grams of net carbs.
Unless you’re allergic, you probably love strawberries as much as the next person. They are a classic fruit that most people really wouldn’t mind having at all times.
Strawberries go great with so many different things, especially chocolate, but that probably isn’t the best idea since you’re on a keto diet.
They aren’t the lowest when it comes to a number of carbs they have compared to the other fruits in this article, but the health benefits are worth a few extra carbs.
Strawberries can help improve your blood sugar and improve your insulin sensitivity. In combination with a low carb diet, your body is going to start seeing positive changes sooner rather than later.
The only drawback, as mentioned earlier, is the carbs in strawberries. You can’t just eat a bunch of them and expect to stay in ketosis for a long time. This is a fruit that you need to eat in moderation.
Eating 100 grams of strawberries will give you 5.6 grams of net carbs.
Limes are very similar to lemons. They are usually associated with each other.
Something that separates limes from lemons is the fact that limes have properties that can prevent plaque in your arteries. This is a health benefit that you cannot get enough of.
The cleaner your arteries are, the better blood flow you can have throughout your body and the better it will function overall.
Tomatoes are yet another classic that everyone knows about. Surprisingly, a lot of people still mistake tomatoes as a vegetable. This is solely because of the other foods that are associated with them.
When you see a food that is always on a sandwich then your brain wants to just assume it’s a vegetable. When it’s used to make one of the best condiments out there, then you’re going to think it’s a vegetable.
When tomatoes are used, they are usually for a sauce or an add-on to any meal. They will never be the star attraction. However, they always play a critical role.
If you are a fan of cooking shows, you’ve probably heard that tomatoes are great because of the acidity they add to a dish. Along with that, they contain numerous vitamins and micronutrients that are key to improving your health.
When consuming 100 grams of tomatoes, you will get about 2.7 grams of net carbs.
Rhubarb, that’s a word you definitely don’t say every day. It’s a fruit but it is considered a vegetable in other areas of the world because of what you cook it with. Very similar to that of a tomato.
This fruit, like many others on this list, will help you improve your heart health. You will more than likely see an increase in your good cholesterol if you consume rhubarb on a regular basis.
Because it contains vitamin K, this fruit will also help promote bone growth and repair, which is crucial for anybody that is starting to feel those aches and pain as they progressively get older.
The antioxidants that rhubarb contains help neutralize free radicals that may be forming in your body. Free radicals can cause healthy cells in your body to mutate or die. This could very easily lead to someone getting cancer. Eating rhubarb can help prevent your body from getting cancer.
Rhubarb has about 2.7 grams of net carbs for every 100 grams consumed.
When it comes to olives, you’re either 50/50. People either enjoy olives are they absolutely hate them. Personally, I’m an olive lover. I never considered them a fruit, though.
Like every other fruit that has been in this article, olives are going to improve your bone health. If you can do what you can to make your bones as healthy as possible, you will have significantly fewer problems when you get older.
Olives also have a high-fat content which is something else you are going to need in a keto diet. You eat fat to lose fat. I know it is very strange, but it’s a proven science. Eat more fat to lose the fat you have.
For every 100 grams, you will get about 3.1 grams of net carbs.
Keep It Fruity
Fruits don’t have to completely leave your diet once you’re on a keto diet.
As you can see, the fruits here are greatly beneficial for your health, especially your bones and joints.
I know a man, 69 years old, that has had multiple knee surgeries. His knees are at the point where he can’t even run. If he takes a wrong step his knee give out on him. He always had a constant pain whenever he would stand up from sitting down. After being on a keto diet for a few weeks, his pain slowly started to go away. It became less and less until eventually there was no more pain.
So, based on that, no matter what your age is, you can start a keto diet and still improve your body. Don’t think that just because you are restricted to certain things means you are restricted to everything in that food category.
Why some people itch on low carb, and what to do about it
This is not a common problem on low carb or keto, but for the few people experiencing it, it can be really annoying: Itching.
This itching – sometimes called the “keto rash” – can be troublesome, sometimes even interrupting sleep. The itching and rash are almost always symmetrical on both sides of the body. It most often develops over the chest, back, armpits and sometimes in the neck (see image above).
What is the reason for this problem, and how can it be cured?
There are many posts about this online, and many different theories. The time has come to make it simple, Diet Doctor style. Here’s everything you need to know.
The cause of the keto rash
While there are dozens of theories about this problem, each more weird and unlikely than the next, I believe there’s a very simple answer. This is based on many people’s experiences, and the limited scientific studies available.
Here are the clues, and the conclusion:
- The itching usually starts soon after people get into ketosis. It stops within a day or so if people eat more carbs and exit ketosis.
- It can often get worse in hot weather, or after exercising.
- The usual distribution of the itch and rash matches areas where sweat can accumulate.
- When in ketosis sweat can contain the ketone body acetone.
- Acetone can be irritating at high concentrations.
I think there is good reason to believe that the itching that some people experience in ketosis is caused by ketones in sweat, perhaps as this dries on the body.
How to cure the keto rash
There are several things you can do to cure keto rash:
- Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing for the climate, so that you don’t sweat more than necessary. Use air conditioning when appropriate.
- Shower: After exercising it might help to take a shower – after you’re finished sweating.
- Change exercise plans: If the itching is really troubling you might want to skip exercise for a few days, or do something like brief weight training that does not produce perspiration.
- Exit ketosis: If the the steps above are not effective enough, exiting ketosis will reliably cure the issue within a day or two. This can be done by eating about 50 grams of carbs or more every day. To still get most of the benefits of a keto diet – at least for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal – you can do a more liberal low-carb diet (50-100 grams of carbs per day) and add intermittent fasting.
- Other treatments: There are many other treatments suggested online; like antibiotics taken for weeks or months and/or special creams. These will likely offer temporary relief at best. I definitely advise not to use oral antibiotics, as the side effects and risks are much worse than the doubtful and temporary benefits. Steroids, anti-fungal creams and anti-histamines appear not to be effective at all. There’s a safe, simple and free solution if you need it – number four, above. Use that instead.
If you get rid of the keto rash by exiting ketosis, can you ever use ketosis again? The answer is likely yes.
If you felt great in ketosis and had a lot of benefits, you may want to try again. The keto rash may stay away. Some people appear to get it only once, or only early in ketosis, when first starting out on a low-carb diet (given time, the body may excrete fewer ketones in the sweat). Remember, most people in ketosis don’t get the rash at all.
Keep the advice above in mind. And if all else fails, just eat a bit more carbs and the problem will go away.
Source: Article by by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD (https://www.dietdoctor.com/keto-rash-people-itch-low-carb)